Words often seem so inadequate to convey acts of generosity and kindness. And since leaving Stewart island on 14th Nov, there have been so many such acts. But Taupo, and in particular one man, has really demonstrated the Kiwi spirit of helping out a stranger in need.

I knew with the breaking of the pedal off the axle, I had a serious situation on my hands. The repair was way beyond anything I could attempt to get repaired easily or within budget.

As I rode back into Taupo with the bike on the back of the ute, I believed at the time if a highly skilled engineer could not be found in the town, capable of making the repair, then the only real option would have been to send the wheel back to expedition mechanic Graeme Simpson in Oamaru, have a new hub fitted, then have the wheel respoked and sent back to me – a good week at the very least, intermingled in the main holiday season.

But with the aid of local residents John and Jennifer Russell, who kindly responded to my flailing arms on the side of the road enroute to Hamilton, I met a most genuine kiwi in Mr Les Bowic, owner of Taupo engineering firm Lake Engineering Services.

Not only did he drop everything, and spend the best part of a public holiday designing then building a new section of hub and axle to hold the pedal on with his massive lathe and drill equipment, but he did not charge me.

Words really failed me on just how grateful I was for this. And tomorrow, back on the road, with Hamilton in my sites.





  1. Don Speden says:

    Hi Capt Wilson

    When I heard about your latest mishap I was wondering how you were going to get the hub axle fixed as that is a major brake down whilst touring, so you were extremely lucky to find someone with the skills to re fit it. You are certainly having quite an adventure and I’m enjoying following your progress and reports from Japan.

    Keep up the great work David
    ex Capt Speden

  2. Rowan says:

    That is wonderful news David, what an amazing man Les Bowic is – both skilled and generous. Best wishes for the journey, and a hope that the sun keeps shining.

  3. Geoff says:

    Hi David. We would like to know when you are coming through Rodney? We would like to take a photo for the newspaper – the Rodney Times.
    Caralise Moore
    Reporter, Rodney Times
    (09) 421 9130

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